I like weddings. I've been in many and attended a whole lot more. But there are things about weddings that can cause consternation for Singles. One of them being . . . .
The Dreaded Bouquet Toss.
Allllllllllllright, it's time for all the Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiingle Laaaaaaaaaadies to come out on the dance floor for the bouuuuuuuuuuuuuquet toss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oh no, you are too late. The strains of "Single Ladies" fill the room as all the teenagers, 20-something young single women, and little girls rush to the dance floor, while you try to avoid eye contact with any one.
"Hey, you! You're single, why aren't you going up there?" someone shouts at you.
"Haha, right," you chuckle, inwardly wincing. You shouldn't have to explain why you aren't hurling yourself up there.
Because the fact is that you have stood there waiting to catch the bouquet too many times. You've caught too many of them. You've had your turn fake fighting for the best position to catch it. You know how to look like you are participating but actually avoid any possibility of catching the bouquet. You know how to grab the nearest little girl and use her as a shield between you and that horrible bunch of flowers, hurtling through space, ready to smack you in the head.
Okay, it's not really that bad. I don't mind if brides throw their bouquets. As long as I'm not forced to participate.
But, you sputter, aren't all women born just dying to catch that bouquet some day? As blogger Tiffany Olsen put it,
"Have you ever actually looked at a group of women waiting to catch the bouquet? It's how I imagine cows look as they're waiting to get slaughtered. There's a bit of curiosity in their eyes, (Who will catch it? Probably the tall girl.) but mostly a sense of dread because everyone forced you to participate by pointing at you and yelling, 'You're single! You have to try catching the bouquet! YOU'RE NOT MARRIED!'" (Read the rest of her blog post at Taking Back Tiffany.)
What is the bouquet toss really? Apparently, the history behind it is that female guests used to chase the bride, trying to get a piece of the wedding dress for good luck. (No wonder wedding dresses are so huge, gotta have enough material so that you can survive people stealing pieces from it). So of course, while the bride is trying to escape these maniacal unmarried women, she throws her bouquet of flowers at them.
Of course now we are much more civilized and refrain from ripping the dress off of the bride. So what is the purpose of the Toss? Other than the whole "whoever catches the bouquet will get married next" thing.
Let's think about this. We get all of the single women at the wedding to stand in a group, separated from everyone else. Meanwhile, all the single guys can see who the single girls are and figure out which one intrigues them. (The reverse is true for the garter toss).
It's a matchmaking ploy. You just got married - now you must help make more people get married!!!
I'm not really that cynical. It is a tradition that a lot of people like to follow. And some people enjoy catching it. There was a bouquet toss at the wedding I attended this weekend. Many of the bride's friends got in on the action and it looked like they had a lot of fun. I enjoyed watching them.
But here's the thing. Weddings are this crazy mix of fun and difficulty for Singles. I love celebrating with my friends and family. I'm so happy for whoever it is that is getting married.
But there is nothing like a wedding to remind a single person that he/she is single. Do I get a plus one? If I do, do I take one with me? Who? Where am I going to sit at the ceremony? Where are they going to stick me at the reception? (Please, please, not the single table - more on this next week). Will anyone be willing to dance with me? You get the idea. So having a moment when I have to walk out in front of everyone, declaring that, yes, I'm still very single, and have a magic marriage bouquet thrown at me, is a little rough.
And so I don't want to be involved in the Toss. It feels awkward and embarrassing. I'd rather focus on why I'm happy to be at the wedding. I mean, how long am I supposed to participate in these things? Will you stop bugging me when I'm 40, 60, 90?
So please, the next time you see me (or any one else for that matter) going the opposite direction when the bouquet is tossed, don't ask me why I'm not participating. Don't try to convince me to go up there. I'm more than happy to be like you and just enjoy the spectacle as a spectator.
And it can be a spectacle. Here are some examples of bouquet tossing craziness that we can all laugh at.
I grew up watching Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. This is the bouquet tossing scene from the wedding episode. My mom, sister, and I thought this scene was so lame and we always made fun of it when we watched this episode.
Sometimes, the Toss becomes a knock-down, drag-out fight.
And even when your aim is perfect, sometimes the guests just don't cooperate.
When all else fails, throw a cat instead.
The author's friend stood in front of the single women and "shared that she does not believe in luck. She believes we are all blessed and worthy of love. Instead of one woman leaving the reception a "winner" and feeling special, she wanted each single woman to leave feeling special. One by one, she went down the line giving each of us two roses from her bouquet. She spoke blessings and words of encouragement over our lives as she went along."
I thought that was pretty cool. Happy tossing.